Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: ‘Shariah law does not condone killing homosexuals’

Basketball legend turned political commentator Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a guest yesterday of Fox News Channel’s Maria Bartiromo, host of “Sunday Morning Futures,” where he was asked to weigh in on presidential candidate Ben Carson’s statements about not wanting a Muslim in the White House. After initially being widely misquoted, Carson reissued his comment, emphasizing in a Facebook post that he could not support a Muslim  candidate for president who had not renounced Shariah Law.

I wanted to get back to answering questions tonight sent in by you guys. Remember, you can send in your questions via…

Posted by Dr. Ben Carson on Monday, September 21, 2015

But even that wasn’t good enough for Abdul-Jabbar, who insisted that rumors about the ritual executions of homosexuals and rapes carried out in the name of Shariah law were greatly exaggerated. Here is a video clip of his comments, followed by a transcript:


Islam does not OK the things that you just mentioned, killing people, rape, all of these things that have been associated now with Shariah law. That’s crazy. None of the people that have that criticism of Shariah law have checked out the law. Because it’s not even for non-Muslims. Shariah law is for the ruling of an Islamic state. So Shariah law could never apply here in America because America is a very diverse place. So they’ve got it all wrong. They don’t know what the law states, actually. And they want to distort it in order to make Muslims the villain. And there’s enough real villainy going on without people inventing it.

While Abdul-Jabbar, who spent the first 21 years of his life as Lew Alcindor, might claim expertise as a proselyte to Islam, he should know better. Under Shariah law as interpreted by his own adoptive branch, Sunni Islam, homosexuality is “worthy of a severe penalty.” In other sects, the penalty is spelled out:

In the Hanafi school of thought, the homosexual is first punished through harsh beating, and if he/she repeats the act, the death penalty is to be applied.

As for the Shafi`i school of thought, the homosexual receives the same punishment as adultery (if he/she is married) or fornication (if not married). This means, that if the homosexual is married, he/she is stoned to death, while if single, he/she is whipped 100 times. Hence, the Shafi`i compares the punishment applied in the case of homosexuality with that of adultery and fornication.

Even in “forward-looking” countries in the Middle East, homosexuality is punishable by death. From the Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies:

Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes…. It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins…. The punishment for homosexuality is death. Both the active and passive participants are to be killed whether or not they have previously had sexual intercourse in the context of a legal marriage…. Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [the perpetrator] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place. [Emphasis added]

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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